By Nancy Nais
SARAWAK is home to an abundance of rainforests and they are indeed a destination to uncover the mysteries of the jungle or simply be surrounded by the calmness and serenity of nature.
Those looking for beauty away from the noise of the city will appreciate the peaceful environment, and those who love physical activities, hiking, soaking in jungle pools or waterfalls will seek to search for more.
With many idyllic waterfalls tucked away in their nooks and crannies, these secret hideouts are a distance away from the bustling city but some remained easily accessible.
While most people would have heard of Mount Santubong which can be quite extreme to conquer, exploring an easier hidden gem below the mountain vicinity is a must.
Dubbed as the Blue Pool, the crystalline water in the middle of the jungle is quite fascinating.
Located off the beaten path, the journey starts from Permai Rainforest Resort in Santubong, some 34km from Kuching city.
Visitors must first register themselves at the resort reception counter, for record and security purposes.
A fee of RM10 per adult is payable to the resort.
Followed by a short briefing from resort staff, visitors will be given a map and instructions on which colour (red, yellow or silver) indicated on the trees or stones to follow throughout the trails.
The route is in the shape of a loop which means visitors can choose between two trails.
The first option is to venture through the forest area, crossing several small streams, some with huge rocks, some with ropes to assist in the climbing.
The trek from this route is about 2.5km or 90 minutes one way, depending on individual speed.
Visitors will also come across several fallen trees, some may have to crawl under.
The other route is to climb through a sloping beach area.
Although this other trail is slightly shorter, about 60 minutes, it is much more challenging due to the huge rocks where one will have to climb and cling to the roots.
Be extra vigilant on this route as the rocks are quite slippery and there are many large holes under them.
Upon arrival to Blue Pool, this is one of a kind burrowed in the jungle landscape which gives a reason to visit.
This hidden gem may not be the biggest, but it certainly makes up for it with its pristine waters.
Have a leisurely light picnic or snacks, take a dip in the pool, sit on the rocks and let the ‘mini-waterfall’ soothe your aching shoulder or legs, and be with nature to enjoy the serenity of its surroundings.
The best time to start the hike to Blue Pool is early in the morning, around 6am or 7am when the water is still in its best and clear condition.
Some said this is a shorter and easier climb compared to Mount Santubong, located above the Blue Pool.
For those who enjoy challenging experiences, these forest trails definitely promise an exciting experience.
Lastly, always keep in mind to be mentally and physically prepared, wear proper attire for hiking because you are not going for a stroll in a shopping mall, be responsible and know your body if it tells you to rest or stop, and respect nature. — DayakDaily